Essentials: The Compact Comic Con Photo Kit

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Essentials The Compact Comic Con Kit (5 of 5)ISO 2001-160 sec

Essentials is a series where we round up specially curated kits for different photographers in different situations. Other items could surely be substituted, but these are what we personally recommend.

If you’re on the West Coast, Comic Con has happened already this year. But if you’re on the East Coast, you’re probably ready to lick a nerd to get your weekend pass. One trend that we saw for years and years was that folks tended to bring better and better cameras. And last year was when lots of folks started coming out and bringing the heavy artillery–we did too!. If you don’t feel like you’re up to having huge light setups, then consider our setup two years ago that earned us these photos.

Our setup was mobile, effective when used by someone that has become one with their gear, and can earn you quite a bit of photos worthy of your portfolio.

And with some time to go still until NYCC, you can probably save up to get all of this relatively soon.

Canon 5D Mk II

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You don’t really need the latest and greatest DSLR to get the right photo at Comic Con. Though we’re recommending one of the best full frame cameras that Canon has ever made, we understand that not everyone can reach for such high fruit. But if you can spring for it, you’ll appreciate the versatility of its image quality, the organic look of the files, the fact that it has all the focusing points that you’ll really ever need.

Plus, it’s fairly simple to operate and can be found for good prices these days.

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Pro Tip: When you shoot, ensure that you carefully place the focusing points over the eye to get a portrait that pops. When you do this, don't focus and recompose. Instead compose the scene based on where the focusing points are first. You can always crop in post later on.

Pro Tip: When you shoot, ensure that you carefully place the focusing points over the eye to get a portrait that pops. When you do this, don’t focus and recompose. Instead compose the scene based on where the focusing points are first. You can always crop in post later on.

Sigma 35mm f1.4 DG

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We’d be nowhere without our 35mm lenses. The best thing about mounting this to a full frame DSLR is that you’ve got a full 35mm field of view. So why do we recommend a semi-wide angle lens instead of a traditional portrait lens? Well, as many of you know, Comic Con has lots of people swarming one another and constantly on top of one another. Since you’ll be working in tight spaces, you’ll need to shoot wider and take up less space lest folks walk into your shot.

Sigma’s 35mm f1.4 doesn’t distort that much either and the quality is better than Canon’s own L lenses.

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Pro Tip: People at the shows aren't models--unless they're booth babes (or dudes.) So when you approach a subject, talk to them about their character and have them mimic a famous pose that the character does.

Pro Tip: People at the shows aren’t models–unless they’re booth babes (or dudes). So when you approach a subject, talk to them about their character and have them mimic a famous pose that the character does.

Canon 580 EX II

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Sure it isn’t the latest and greatest flash from Canon–but it has all the output that you’ll really need. For walking around a convention center floor, we recommend sticking this flash into your camera’s hot shoe rather than working with it off-camera and placing it somewhere else. It will also just make the flow of shooting much simpler.

Buy Now: Amazon

Pro Tip: Have fun with your subjects

Pro Tip: Have fun with your subjects

ExpoImaging Ray Flash Ring Flash Adapter

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Essentials The Compact Comic Con Kit (1 of 5)ISO 2001-80 sec

This is the beauty that will separate your photos from everyone else’s: a ring flash! For those of you that aren’t sure, a ring flash is a highly prized item often used in fashion photography. It allows you to have a totally shadowless look when the shutter speed and flash exposure and perfectly mixed. But it also gives this awesome ring-like catch-light in the eyes. We prefer to use this item with:

– The flash dialed up one extra stop

– F5.6 and 1/125th

– ISO 200

To give us a bit of an edgier look. It attaches to the head of your flash very securely so you should’ve ever have any fear of it falling off. Then the ring goes around the lens. For better results, add black gaffers tape to the inside area like we did in the photo above.

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Pro Tip: This is that catch light that we're talking about

Pro Tip: This is that catch light that we’re talking about. Look at her eyes

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